The government’s pledge to increase police presence on the streets to tackle anti-social behaviour has been welcomed by the Federation of Independent Retailers (the Fed).
In an update to its Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan, the government announced an initial series of hotspot policing schemes that will see an increase in the number of police patrols in areas with the highest rates of anti-social behaviour from this month.
Tougher and swifter action against perpetrators, with reparation for graffiti and damage, is also built into the plan.
The initiatives are due to be rolled out in all areas of England and Wales from next year.
Each police force will receive an additional £1.4m to invest in crime prevention measures such as better CCTV or street lighting, or local community projects with a particular focus on driving down anti-social behaviour.
The Fed’s national president Muntazir Dipoti said: “For many of our members, most of whom own small newsagents and convenience stores, anti-social behaviour is a daily blight on their businesses and their lives.
“Gangs of youths gathering outside their local stores, particularly at night, can be very intimidating, while repairing damage such as broken windows and graffiti places an extra financial burden on businesses that are already hard hit by rising overheads.
“We are pleased to see the government is finally taking a stand against this and that resources are being put into tackling the problem.”